Heart to Heart

Listening to Asha’s talks is a gift. Now you can also read many of her talks as edited transcripts, or read short, published articles excerpted from her writings. Reading is a special pleasure, giving more time to reflect and absorb new ideas. Bookmark this page; new articles are added often.

 

Heart to Heart—talks by Asha, transcribed and edited

Little Children Before God — The Definition of a Disciple
How the great disciples relate to their teachers

How Artistic Creativity Can Bring Us Spiritual Healing
Why Paramhansa Yogananda and his direct disciple Swami Kriyananda encouraged us to exercise our creativity through the arts

What Jesus Really Taught, and What It Means for Us as Disciples
What Jesus meant when he used the pronoun “I,” and why it is the key to understanding his original teachings

How to Be an Instrument for Divine Light in this World
How the light of God manifests through us, in three stages

Keys to Spiritual Progress — Understanding Where We Are and Where We’re Going. Asha shares insights for working with ourselves as we are, and how to keep moving toward our highest goal

The Devil Made Me Do It — Truer Than We Thought?
The true meaning of the devil

Jesus’ Message of Redemption
Jesus’ mission, and why we can only grow spiritually by starting where we are

Art & Creativity As a Spiritual Practice
The central role of creativity in our spiritual lives

What Are the Qualities of the Mother Aspect of God?
How the image of God as evolved over millennia: from Judge to Father to loving Mother.

How Can We Grow Spiritually?
How we can come closer to God most rapidly, by working with ourselves exactly as we are.

Intuition Is Simple — the Intellect Is Complex
Why we must first calm the heart to know what God wants of us

The Meaning of the Resurrection
The mystical meaning of the resurrection for our own spiritual lives

Faith Is a Call to Prayer; Prayer Is a Call to Faith
The meaning of Jesus’ words, “Ask, and it shall be given...”

We Are Children of the Light
The meaning of redemption. Where does suffering come from? And what role does it play in our salvation?

The Church of Love and the Church of Law
Should we follow the rules or cultivate God’s presence in our hearts?

Does Satan Exist? A Spiritual View
The subtle spiritual meaning of Satan

What’s the Best Way to Achieve Our Liberation?
Asha explains the compassion in a dire-sounding passage from the Bhagavad Gita.

A Wordless Yearning for Redemption
How Christ comes in response to the boundless yearning of our hearts for God’s bliss.

Many Are the Pathways to Truth
How we can work with our own nature, as we learn to live increasingly at the center of our being.

How to Understand Your Karma
In the end, all our joys and sorrows must be resolved in a Big Zero. Does this mean that we shouldn’t savor the joys of this life?

Why Offer God Anything, When He Has Everything?
How we should come before God, with all our limitations.

God’s Relentless Pursuit of His Devotee
How liberation comes, and how we can keep moving toward our freedom.

The Seeker’s Choice: to Become a Hermit, or Live Spiritually Where We Are
How we can reconcile our karma with our high spiritual aspirations.

We Are Always Alone with God
Asha talks about that which we can and cannot change in our search for the ultimate happiness.

The Path from Suffering to Happiness
The need for suffering, and how we can find ever-increasing happiness.

Does the Son of God Live Within Us?
How we too, like Jesus, are Sons of God, and how we can realize that deepest truth of our existence.

What Was Yogananda Really Like?
Asha describes the Yogananda that we don’t really get to know in his great book, Autobiography of a Yogi.

Is Reincarnation Real? What Can We Do About It?
Why traditional theologies make no sense if they dismiss reincarnation.

Did God Create Us or Did He Become Us?
We have never been separate from God; we just need to improve our knowing.

Christ Enters Jerusalem — the Inner Meaning of the Story
The dual meaning of a keystone event in the life and mission of Jesus Christ.

Reincarnation — Keystone of the Spiritual Life
Why reincarnation is a bedrock feature of Jesus’ teachings, and why it urgently needs to be brought back into Christianity today

Christ’s Teachings Are for the Individual Seeker
Christ’s frightening promise

Karma and Happiness: Life’s Only Real Answer
How we can face our karma and find happiness in the midst of life’s struggles

The Light Shining in Darkness: Down-to-Earth Reflections
The famous Bible verse and its meaning for our daily lives.

Coping with Tragedy: The Spiritual Meaning of 9/11
The spiritual meaning of the tragic events in our lives.

“Getting the Point” in the Spiritual Life
The importance of intuition and experience on the spiritual path

Working With Our Present Reality as We Aspire to Self-Realization
About achieving balance in our spiritual life.

Did God Create or Become the World?
Why this answer is extremely relevant at the earthy, day-to-day level of our spiritual lives

How Do We Prove Our Faith?
The nature of faith: what it is, and how we can make our faith stronger.

Destiny, Political and Divine: Who Is Actually Running This World?
A spiritual view of the 2016 elections.

To Know True Joy: The Challenge of Jesus’ Last Days
The inner meaning of the final chapter of Jesus’ life.

Outward Service or Inner Attunement?
Ananda and SRF, and why we need to keep our inner attunement fresh every day.

Activity or Inner Communion: Finding Your Path
The deeper meaning of the Bible story of Mary and Martha.

What Is the Best Way to Worship?
The true meaning of worship, with reference to the woman of Samaria, the Bhagavad Gita, and Sri Ramakrishna.

What Really Matters on the Spiritual Path?
Asha explains why rigid rules and extreme austerities fail to capture the essence of our relationship with God.

How to Stay Safely on the Spiritual Path
The path is long and filled with challenges; how can we walk safely at the center of the path?

Where Can We Find the Answers We Are Seeking?
Where we can find a higher power of healing, guidance, and happiness.

Resurrection for Every Soul
The meaning of Mary Magdalene’s love for our spiritual lives.

The Highest Relationship Between the Devotee and God
The expanded meaning of the story of Jesus and the bleeding woman who touched his robe.

“Be Ye Therefore Perfect.” — How Can We Understand Christ’s Challenge?
What Christ’s greatest challenge means for us in each moment of our lives.

Indispensable Qualities for Knowing God
Asha reveals attitudes and qualities of consciousness that enable us to know God in our daily lives.

Do We Create Happiness, Or Does It Exist Already?
The path to happiness and freedom for suffering in a new age of energy-awareness.

Understanding the Spiritual Path, Its Trials and Rewards
The essential role that right attitude plays, and the importance of cultivating an intimate relationship with God.

The Message of Jesus’ Life
The meaning of the lineage of Moses and Jesus, and what it means for our inner lives.

Growing Into a Greater Self — Let God Change You
Yogananda’s teachings about the process of growing into our birthright of oneness with God.

Who Was Yogananda in His Former Lives?
Yogananda’s mission to unite East and West.

When Desires End - the Method of Finding Freedom
Asha tells stories that shed light on the process of finding perfect contentment in God.

How to Deal Expertly With Your Karma
When suffering comes, there is a way to stay in God’s light, even as the karmic storms howl around us.

The Path of the Devotee Leads From Law to Love
In the beginning of our search, we follow the law; later, we discover that the answer, always, is love

Love vs Wisdom on the Spiritual Path
Insights on the strange interrelation of these two very necessary qualities in the spiritual life.

What Does It Mean to Love Divinely?
Catholic saints and the path of expanding the heart by praying for others.

Attuning Ourselves to God Through Sacred Sounds
“The only duty that has been given to man is to listen to the inner sounds,’ said Lahiri Mahasaya. We can merge our consciousness with God by singing sacred music, and by listening to the AUM or sacred Amen in the stillness of meditation.

Living in the Presence of Divine Love
Asha tells how she experienced the presence of Christ in the Holy Land in an unexpected way.

The Path of Divine Ascension
Christ’s message of light and redemption.

To Find What You've Always Been Seeking, Look to Your Innermost Self
A paradox of the spiritual path: that when we find ourselves by becoming nothing.

Is It Our Spiritual Responsibility to Help Make a Perfect World?
Asha clarifies our spiritual duty in this world of suffering.

The Quickest Way Back to God
Asha describes our quandary: lost in desires,  the surest path that will take us back to our true home is selfless service and love.

When Are We Ready to Receive God?
Spiritual maturity is when we can accept reality on its own terms.

Paramhansa Yogananda’s Message of Religious Unity
Yogananda showed people how they can experience God for themselves. And knowing Him, they will recognize that He is the same in all religions.

Defending Yoga in America — The Tapasya of Ananda
Swami Kriyananda helped yoga maintain its original purity, at the cost of great personal sacrifice.

Does God Want Us to Beat Ourselves Up Over Our Mistakes?
God forgives us even before we fall into error.

“Who do you think I am?” How we should answer Christ’s question
Our salvation comes by realizing the God who is Christ.

Children of God’s Light
How we can live in the world with the constant awareness of God.

Fear and Humility — Incompatible Opposites
Every great master has come on earth to teach us a simple lesson: that when we give up the ego, we become perfectly secure and fearless in the consciousness of God.

The Oneness of All Religions
Yogananda offered the world a solution to religious strife: a more radical one than superficial coexistence and ecumenism.

Why Did Swami Kriyananda Rewrite Yogananda’s First Book?
Yogananda held tremendous hopes for The Science of Religion. Why did Swami Kriyananda feel that it was important to rewrite it?

How Long Will It Take Us To Be One With God?
Asha suggests that we embrace the urgency of the spiritual path, but be practical in our efforts on the  journey.

The Search for Happiness Ends Inside
The arc of our karma is inescapable, but we can influence the quality of the journey tremendously by living more in God.

To Free Yourself, First Be Yourself!
Why God wants us to be open and childlike in our relationship with Him.

Are Great Masters Above Human Feelings?
Asha tells how she reconciled Swami Kriyananda's impersonal consciousness with his sensitive human heart.

God’s Play, and the Way of Escape from Endless Cycles of Pain and Pleasure
How we can live honestly, accepting our present reality while seeking the gateway to a higher understanding.

The Light Within Us That Never Dies
The master pays no attention to the darkness in us; his sole concern is increasing the light.

The Freedom to Love: Expanding Awareness on the Spiritual Path
What is the power that enables us to give ourselves completely to God without reservation?

Finding God — Soul and Science
The inspiration hidden in a simple sentence of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras.

The Virgin Birth — Merely Symbolic, or Does It Express a Deep Truth?
This world is very different from the true divine reality.

Atheism Versus Self-realization — What Should Our Position Be?
Should we combat atheism or concentrate on our own God-realization?

Mistakes on the Spiritual Path — How to Lighten the Load
We have no choice but to accept that mistakes are the necessary prelude to progress on the path.

The Love that Satisfies Our Restless Hearts
How God calls us through the restless yearnings of our hearts.

The Joy that Forever Satisfies All Desires
Asha elaborates on a chant that contains a complete and wonderful description of the path to liberation.

Mother of Us All
Yogananda brought the West a new dispensation from God: a path of intimacy, in which we can welcome God in our hearts as the Universal Mother.

How can we change and become more inspired and spiritual?
The ins and outs of spiritual growth, and how God’s natural laws lead us gradually back to Him.

“I want only Thee, Lord” — or do I really?
The balance between self-acceptance and high aspiration.

The Prodigal Son — Lessons for Us All
The famous Bible story has a powerful message with important ramifications.

The secret of spiritual growth: start where you are
People constantly complain, “I’m not good enough. I’m unworthy.” But even if it’s true, what choice do we have but to work with ourselves exactly as we are. In fact, this is what pleases God greatly.

Let us accept ourselves and grow at our own pace
How to be compassionate with ourselves and grow spiritually at our own most natural speed.

Is God in the details of our lives?
Paramhansa Yogananda said that God accepts us exactly as we are, and that He wants to be involved in the tiniest details of our lives, guiding and loving.

Compassion for our present truth is the doorway to further progress
Yogananda taught that we should think of spiritual progress as a long-distance race, not a sprint.

How Swami Kriyananda taught me to cook — and so much more
Paramhansa Yogananda taught that spiritual awakening is a precious gift that must be protected from the gnawing mice of doubts and other people’s opinions.

The high promise hiding behind the harsh reality of this world
Paramhansa Yogananda said that we are guests in this world. A bad guests grabs part of the world for himself. Freedom comes in recognizing our true role.

Being spiritual doesn’t mean we have to suppress our feelings
Paramhansa Yogananda urged people to be honest with their feelings, because spiritual progress requires that we work with ourselves exactly as we are.

When life stops giving you what you desire, learn to get what you truly want
It’s a baffling paradox: God wants us to live with full will power, yet with complete surrender to His will.

America’s Importance and Spiritual Destiny
The Founding Fathers created a world-shaking new model of individual freedom. Paramhansa Yogananda brought a complementary world-changing movement of inner freedom

Do you have the courage to come to God exactly as you are, with all your faults?
To do so is the first requirement on the spiritual path, and the surest path to happiness.

The Story of How Ananda Evolved from a Hippie Dream to a Global Spiritual Work Paramhansa Yogananda wanted his work to be spread as broadly as possible; Ananda has blazed a path to show others how they can be part of his global mission.

Find God in the Small Moments of Your Life
Yogananda gave us prayers for invoking God’s help in every possible human situation.

What Can We Do to Keep God in Our Heart (with all Our Imperfections)?
Yogananda urged people to live in the moment, improving daily, otherwise our imperfections and past mistakes may threaten to overwhelm us.

What Does “Obedience” Mean in Yogananda’s Teachings?
People often have trouble accepting the need for “cooperative obedience” on the spiritual path. But whether we think of obedience or attunement, growth comes by sacrificing the ego on the spiritual path.

Act in this World While Living in the Spirit
Paramhansa Yogananda and his great disciple Swami Kriyananda taught us how to commune with Spirit and retain that awareness while acting in the world.

What Does It Mean to “Miss the Point” on the Spiritual Path?
Patanjali’s cryptic admonishment carries an important lesson.

Why Not Choose Happiness Now?
Yogananda taught that the whole world is looking for more happiness, and to escape sorrow. The path is simple. It needs only our determination, and time.

Inward Path or Outward Path? Meditation or Work?
Swami Kriyananda taught as Yogananda did, that the spiritual path for this age is intense activity for God, plus meditation.

Spiritual Essentials for Knowing God
Yogananda was kind and loving. Yet he called us to make an extreme sacrifice. In essence, however, the “method” is quite simple.

Mother Is In Charge
The spiritual path is simple. We are complex. When, having exhausted all other resources, we cry for the Mother’s help, She responds unfailingly.

The Difficult Path of Opening Our Hearts to God
The path of Self-realization is entirely about becoming increasingly receptive, open, and exposed before the all-seeing eyes of God.

Finding God in All Simplicity
Swami Kriyananda became very simple in the way he presented the teachings in the last years of his life. And simplicity is where we, too, can find God.

Finding Our Life’s True Purpose
Paramhansa Yogananda taught, like other liberated masters, that the  purpose of life is to expand our awareness inwardly and achieve oneness with God.

What Shall We Do With Our Lives?
The secret of life is very simple — but of course, that doesn’t mean it’s easy.

Give Up the Ego and Find the True Way
God longs to give us His bliss and freedom.

Help! Help! — When Human Strength Is Not Enough
Human powers ultimately fail us; then we realize that we need a help that only the masters can provide.

Churches Small and Large - Where Hearts Seek God
Can churches keep their spirit as they grow? The answer depends on whether the members remember why the church exists.

Where Is True Happiness?
Swami Kriyananda and his great guru Paramhansa Yogananda taught that lasting happiness is found only within.

Secrets of Using the Ego as a Tool to Find Freedom
Yogananda revealed how we can use the ego as a tool to help us find freedom from the ego's wiles. The answer lies in deep honesty.

A Practical Religion
The story of Ananda shows how we can make our religion practical, based on using magnetism and energy to know God and do His will.

On the Spiritual Path, How Can We Work With Our Feelings?
We need deep feelings to love God and be real with Him; yet emotions create “static” that prevent us from knowing our inner oneness with God.

The Meaning of Life is Simpler Than We Imagine
Paramhansa Yogananda taught methods for knowing the Christ who lives always within us.

Should Yogis Be Activists?
Yogis have an unparalleled opportunity to uplift the world’s consciousness, by their loyalty to divine principles.

God’s Call Within
The world will always disappoint us. Masters such as Christ and Yogananda offer us a sure path to the only true satisfaction, within.

Swami Kriyananda: Two Very Different Kinds of Music
Most music stimulates emotional longings, which it leaves unfulfilled. Another kind of music is soul-satisfying because it comes from soulful sources.

Yogananda and “Tough Love”
Finding the greatest love demands that we sarifice personal loves and emotions. “You must be hard as steel against sensitivity,” said Paramhansa Yogananda.

You Are the Pure Gold of the Divine
In the West, religious teachers (and evolutionary biologists) tell us we are sinners and no better than our animal nature. The East has a very different viewpoint.

The Teacher’s Kindness, The Teacher’s Discipline
Swami Kriyananda was always very kind. But kindness sometimes required that he be strict.

How to Face Life’s Unavoidable Changes
Nothing is more certain than change. How can we face life’s changes adroitly, wisely, in the moment?

 

Articles and excerpts
from Asha’s writings

How Should We Respond to the Atheists?

The Love that Satisfies Our Restless Hearts

How Can We Rise Again When We've Fallen?

Humility and Receptivity — The Central Keys to Knowing God’s Love

A Simple Attitude that Will Carry You Through Life’s Challenges

To Find Happiness, Attune Yourself to Lifes Natural Laws

Be Natural With God

Four Signs That Your Intuition Is Correct

“All Your Children, Mother, Call You”

“Boing-Back Yoga” — How to Have Common Sense in the Spiritual Life

“I Don’t Feel Close to My Parents”

A Comforting Saying of Rajarsi Janakananda

A Common Problem for Meditators: “Some Days I’m Restless, Some Days I’m Calm

A Good Way to Think of the Body in the Spiritual Life

A New Monastic Order for a Scientific Age of Energy-Awareness

A Painful Divorce — When Family Life Disappoints Us

A Secret Key for Expanding Our Awareness to Include Others

A Simple Tip for Attracting Friendship and Success

A Touching Spiritual Lesson From a Friend Who Lay Dying

A Tour of War Memorials, and Thoughts on the Spiritual Role of War

Alien Invasions in Ancient Times — Are They Real?

Answering a Monk’s Question

Avoiding Failure, Dealing With Failure, Rising Again

Big, Important Questions Often Have Small Answers

Can Disembodied “Tramp Souls” Harm Us?

Can Humans Help Animals Evolve Faster by Spiritual Means?

Can Politics Help the World More Than Faith Can?

Can Successful People be Successful in the Spiritual Life?

Can We Be Practical and Also Dedicated to High Ideals?

Can We Be Successful in This World Using Spiritual Principles?

Can We Gain Greater Compassion for Those With Bad Habits?

Can We Help Relieve Suffering by Prayer and Meditation?

Days When the Spiritual Path Is Hard, Days When It’s Easier

Do I have to Leave My Job If I Want to Seek God?

Don’t Be a Spiritual Beggar — Learn to Accept With Love What God Gives

Don’t Let People Push You Around; It Isn’t Spiritual

Family Feud! How to Deal with Inharmony in the Home

Fear — The Best Remedy

Finding God Means Living at the Innermost Chamber of Your Own Heart

Finding Perfect Love Inwardly, in the Depths of the Human Heart, in God

Finding True Love at Last

Getting Along With Difficult People

God Asks Only That We Take One Small Step at a Time

Happiness Comes When We Accept Life Exactly As It Is

How Can I Be True to My Ideals in This Modern, Matter-Obsessed World?

How Can We Find Protection in Hard Times?

How Can We Give Our Hearts to Life, But Seek God?

How Can We Welcome God — With All Our Imperfections?

How Does God See Our Mistakes and Weaknesses?

How Much Time Should We Spend Concentrating on the Bad In Us?

How Should We Work With Negative Thoughts in the Spiritual Life?

How Spiritual Friends Bring Us Closer to God

How the Company of Other Seekers Can Help Us

How to Be Honest With Your Feelings in the Love Affair With God

How to Deal With Inner Obstacles in Meditation

How to Deal with Unwise Personal Attractions on the Spiritual Path

How to Develop the Important Power to Remember God

How to Face God Without Fear

How to Get Along With Difficult People

How to Get Along With Others

How to Get Along With People, and With God

How to Know if He Is My Soul Mate?

How to Love More Perfectly

How to Overcome Spiritual Doubts

How to Receive God’s Help for Life’s Trials

How to Shield Yourself Against Negative, Unspiritual Influences

If You Want to Be Close to God, Start by Being Natural

If You Want to Make Spiritual Progress, Be Like the Honey Bee

In Meditation, It’s Much More Important to Calm the Heart Than “Calm the Mind”

Inner Peace Is Only a First Step on the Path

Is It Spiritually Proper to Try to Take on a Loved One’s Karma?

Is there an Airplane Route That Will Take Me Out of My Karma?

It Is Simple to Be Omnipresent; the Problem is, We Are Complex

Learn to Be Natural in Your Spiritual Search

Little Answers to Life’s “Big Questions”

Loyalty in Love — When Is It Misguided?

Meditating Deeply Can Change Your Consciousness — and Your Future

My Best Friend Resents My Spiritual Practice. Should I let Her Go?

My Boyfriend Is Skeptical About My Spiritual Practices

My Mother Is Bitter. How Can I Help?

No Need to Hide our Mistakes and Weaknesses from God

Predictions of Cataclysm: “Am I Not Always With You?”

Public Worship Embarrasses Me

Romantic Notions of the Spiritual Path Don’t Endure

Sex in a New Relationship, a Spiritual Perspective

Short List of Qualities of a Good Disciple

Spiritual Advice for Overeating

Spiritual Pleasures of Advancing Age

Success and Happiness Come by Energy and Magnetism

Swami Kriyananda Meets Swami Chidananda

Swami Kriyananda, In Memoriam — Cherished Memories

The Role of Feelings in the Spiritual Life

The Saints Are Not Stupid, or Naive

The Secret Happiness-Weapon of the Lovers of God

The Spiritual Meaning of Death

The Spiritual Teacher Comes for You Alone

Tips for Developing Your Intuition as a Shortcut to Success

To Find True Peace and Happiness, Live More at Your Source

We Have Only Two Choices in Life: To Love God, or Not To

What Do Negative Dreams Mean in the Spiritual Life?

What Does It Take to Find True Happiness?

What’s the Best Way to Deal With Karmic Bombs that Land in our Lives?

When a Loved One Digs Herself Into a Hole

When Fears Attack, Find Protection in God

When Hard Karma Comes, Should We Stand and Fight or Run Away?

When Life Gives You More Than You Can Handle

When Negative Influences Surround Us, How Can We Protect Ourselves?

When Saints Are Born as Babies, Are They Aware of God?

When Spiritual Aspirations Conflict with Lower Urges

When Trembling in Fear, Where Can We Find Protection?

When We Make Foolish Mistakes, How Can We Recover and Go On Progressing Steadily on Our Spiritual Path?

When We Want to Love More than We Are Able

Why Do People Feel Ashamed of Believing in Go